Encinitas: Chesterfield Drive to Santa Fe Drive Undercrossing Segment

The Encinitas segment of the 44-mile Coastal Rail Trail will help improve biking and walking connections to several destinations in the Encinitas community, including local parks and businesses, beaches, and schools. The first project in Encinitas will provide a 1.3-mile walking and biking path along the east side of the railroad tracks near San Elijo Avenue, from Chesterfield Drive to the Santa Fe Drive undercrossing.

The project is one of the improvements identified in the North Coast Corridor Public Works Plan/Transportation and Resource Enhancement Program (PWP/TREP). The PWP/TREP includes a package of highway, rail, biking/walking, environmental, and coastal access improvements along San Diego’s North Coast Corridor – a 27-mile stretch from La Jolla to Oceanside – over the next 30 years. The PWP/TREP was unanimously approved by the California Coastal Commission (CCC) in August 2014. Each project included in the PWP/TREP is subject to CCC review and approval of a Notice of Impending Development (NOID) permit prior to the start of construction. 

Project Update – Summer 2017

In compliance with the PWP/TREP, SANDAG submitted a NOID application for an alignment on the west side of the railroad tracks in February 2017. At its May 11, 2017 meeting, the California Coastal Commission approved the project's NOID with the special condition that the project shall be built within or immediately adjacent to the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) rail right-of-way along San Elijo Avenue (east side of railroad tracks) to be consistent with the CCC interpretation of the NCC PWP/TREP. 

SANDAG staff is moving forward with plans for the east side alignment, and will continue working to obtain approval under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) this summer. 

Following the CCC’s decision on the NOID, the City of Encinitas submitted four requests of SANDAG to incorporate into project plans - (1) the project should have a smaller footprint than the proposed 14’-17’ wide path; (2) ensure that the required fence is as close to the railroad tracks as possible; (3) use a path material other than traditional concrete or asphalt pavement; and (4) minimize parking loss. 

SANDAG will evaluate the feasibility of these requests as part of completing the project design. 

Construction could begin in fall 2018, pending CEQA and NEPA approvals, as well as all permit approvals required from state and federal agencies related to the protection of plants, wildlife, water quality, and other environmental resources.

To receive email updates with the latest project news, please contact GObyBIKE@sandag.org

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